Gaining Foundation Skills for Learning and Teaching/GFS Lesson Planning Module

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GFS Lesson Planning Module

This module provides some prompts on how to plan for a lesson/session and offers options in terms of ways that you can record your session plan.

The Planning

To get the most out of a learning session time and effort needs to be put into the planning.

Structured lesson plan template

A great place to start is with the 5 W’s.


  • Who are your students/participants?
  • Where is the learning session to take place? – environment, resources
  • When will this occur? – time of day, length of session
  • Why is this session being run? – the intent and aim of the session?
  • What is the focus and content of the session?

Once you have considered those you can move to

  • How will this session flow and be organised?
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Teaching Tips for Session Planning is a handout with more helpful reminder questions to help focus your session plan.

Recording the Session Plan

There are no hard or fast rules about how you should record a session plan.

It could be in list form, mind-map, diagrams, tables or any other structure that works best for you.

The key factor is that it can be followed easily and works for you as a tool during the session.

You can also add information about how the session went that can be used to enhance planning for another session or a repeat of the same session at a later date.

The attached session plan is in a table format that can be of use to those who prefer a very structured approach to their planning. This can be very useful for those new to teaching.

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Just a few questions above to spark your thinking.

What form of lesson plan do you use if any?

Is it a scrap of paper with some brief notes on what you want to cover? Is it a fully detailed plan? Is your plan the PowerPoint presentation you are going to use? They can come in so many different forms.

Do you have any useful tips that you have discovered that help with lesson planning?

Share your thoughts on the discussion board

Further Reading

Lesson planning is a page from Penn State York University offering a range of approaches.

Designing and sequencing learning activities, content and assessment methods offers guiding tips by David Baume at Oxford-brookes University.

This introduction to lesson planning is expanded upon further in the Learner Centred Learning course